A year from now the best farm systems will be ...

November 14th, 2019

Farm system rankings reflect a snapshot in time. When MLB Pipeline last evaluated organizational prospect talent following the July 31 Trade Deadline, the Padres, Rays and Dodgers claimed the top three spots. A year earlier, only San Diego among that trio cracked our top three.

Much will change in the next 12 months as systems are affected by graduations, trade arrivals and departures, Draft and international signings and the rise and fall of prospects' stock as they continue their development. Who will have the best collection of Minor League talent a year from now? That's our lead question in the latest edition of the Pipeline Inbox ...

1. Rays: Even if pitchers Brendan McKay and Brent Honeywell ascend to Tampa Bay, they'll still have the No. 1 prospect in baseball (shortstop Wander Franco) and one of the deeper systems around. The Rays could have seven Top 100 Prospects after the 2020 season in Franco, middle infielder Vidal Brujan, left-hander Matthew Liberatore, right-hander Shane Baz, catcher Ronaldo Hernandez, shortstop Greg Jones and southpaw Shane McClanahan.

2. D-backs: Between a 2019 Draft featuring seven picks in the first two rounds and the Zack Greinke trade that landed three current or former Top 100 Prospects from the Astros, they added more prospect talent this year than any organization. Arizona shouldn't graduate many of its top prospects in 2020, and players such as outfielders Alek Thomas and Kristian Robinson, shortstop Geraldo Perdomo and right-hander Levi Kelly should continue to boost their stock.

3. Padres: They've come out on top in our last four rankings, dating back to the 2018 preseason, and they still have as deep a system as anyone. San Diego's current three best prospects (left-hander MacKenzie Gore, outfielder Taylor Trammell, right-hander Luis Patino) might not qualify a year from now, but shortstop CJ Abrams, catcher Luis Campusano and others will pick up the slack. The Padres also will add the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 Draft.

A Cubs outfielder, Davis is on the verge of making our Top 100 Prospects list. He might already have done so if multiple finger injuries hadn't limited him to 50 games in 2019.

After Chicago signed Davis for $1.1 million as a second-round pick in 2018, the expectation was that the Arizona prep product's development would require patience. Instead, he made the jump to the Class A Midwest League and batted .305/.381/.525 with a .907 OPS that would have led the toughest full-season league on hitters if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

Part of a state championship basketball team in high school, Davis is an exceptional athlete with 30-30 upside. He's more advanced at the plate than expected, possesses well above-average speed and could have at least solid tools across the board when he's a finished product.

The 2020 Draft lacks depth in terms of high school left-handers, and Savino (Potomac Falls, Va., HS) ranked as the crop's best prep southpaw until he decided to graduate early and attend Virginia this spring. That distinction now belongs to Dax Fulton (Mustang, Okla., HS).

Gatorade's 2019 Virginia high school player of the year, Savino placed fourth on our August list of 2020's top high school prospects. He consistently performed well on the showcase circuit this summer, working from 91-96 mph with his fastball and showing the potential for a solid slider and changeup.

Outfield is the strongest position in the White Sox system, starting with Luis Robert, the No. 3-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline's Top 100. Six of Chicago's 12 best prospects are outfielders, and eight of them made our White Sox Top 30.

Robert is a prime contender for the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2020, a year after Eloy Jimenez mashed 31 homers in his first season in the big leagues. The next outfielder in line for a promotion to Guaranteed Rate Field figures to be Luis Alexander Basabe, though he may not be ready until 2021. Part of the Chris Sale trade with the Red Sox, Basabe is a switch-hitter with five-tool potential but has to show he can make consistent contact at the plate.

If it's not Basabe, then Steele Walker could be the final piece in Chicago's outfield. Outside of Robert, Walker is the best hitter among White Sox outfield prospects and has earned some Mark Kotsay comparisons.